It’s still a funny old world.
Peggy, a resident of Ciudad Patrica for more than 25 years, recently celebrated her 99th birthday. We asked Peggy to look back and share a few memories of the past. Here’s what she had to say…
I was born in Oxford in February 1918. I was the youngest of a family of 6.There was three girls and three boys. I had two brothers 6 years older than me so I was badly teased by them until I was sent to boarding school in Chichester West Sussex at the age of five until I was 12 years old. I try not to remember these years as the strictness was unbelievable at the school. Twelve years after my father died I was brought back to Oxford and went to a private school. At the age of 17 I started to work as an apprentice at hairdressing spending many happy years until asthma forced me to give it up. I got married at 21 and my husband was called up to the air force so I went to Scotland to join him. After the war we came back to England. I had a course in floristry which I loved, and even eventually had to stop as my husband passed away so my daughter and I spent many years together. At the age of 60 I met my second husband John who was a bank manager. We spent many happy years together. He had a villa in Moraira that’s how I came to be living in Spain. After 8 years we came to live in Ciudad Patricia. He passed away 22 years ago. I have been living a very happy life in Ciudad Patricia
At the age off 99 is still love a party, to dance and join in when it’s possible. I am a very lucky person and appreciate all the help and activities in Ciudad Patricia over the past 32 years … a little paradise.
When we look back over our lives, haven't things changed! I was married in 1939 when the cost of things was measured in pounds, shillings and pence and £5 was a small fortune. My husband was earning £3.10s a week – roughly equivalent to 4.20€ in modern parlance. This included an allowance for using his car which was a necessity in his job – he had earlier bought a Ford 8 for £75 (90€). I was a fully qualified hairdresser and I earned a weekly wage of £1.5s. (1.80€). Our newly built house of 3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 2 toilets and 2 living rooms cost £825 (990€). Our mortgage was £1 (1.20€) a week so paying that out of my wages left me with 5s. (0.30€) to spend recklessly! Here's some examples of the cost of our household expenses that I can remember: 1 gallon (4.5ltrs) of petrol cost 11 ½d (0.07 Euros); 1pint of milk (0.6ltr) cost 2d (0.01€); a loaf of bread was 4d (0.02€) and eggs were 2½d each! You paid 9d (0.04€) for a good cinema ticket so you could have a night out for a few bob! (a bob was 1 shilling = 0.06€).
I was allowed to drive the car once a week if I put a gallon of petrol in the tank! I remember it didn't take the garage assistant long to get to know me as I fumbled every week in my pockets and bags to find 11½d. The garage consisted of just one manual Shell petrol pump with a small shed at the back for repairs. Visiting him every week was a good laugh as he always teased me with “shall we make it just ½ gallon this week?” or, “why are you keeping two homes going?”.
I've just recently purchased a hearing aid which has cost me 4 times the price of our 3 bedroom house! It doesn't seem possible the world has got into such a horrendous financial situation – yet I know I am lucky to be still able to buy a glass of wine at no more than my weekly wage in 1939!
I just feel extremely fortunate to be living where every help is available and to be surrounded by so many good friends. May you all live as long as I have and enjoy many healthy, happy years as you spend your senior years in lovely Ciudad Patricia.
Keep the faith,